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Slowly, afternoon slips into evening and the light dims on Bryant Lake. Suddenly the still water is broken as trout leap, following the evening hatch of small flies. The fishermen follow the trout and the chase is on. They come for the fish, but anglers aren't the only ones who love Bryant Lake. Set in the foothills of the White Mountains, it is truly a lake for all seasons.
Bryant Lake, more commonly known as Lake Christopher, is in the Village of Bryant Pond in the Town of Woodstock in Oxford County, Maine. As if that weren't confusing enough, Lake Christopher is often referred to as Bryant Pond. Regardless of what it is called, however, Lake Christopher is sure to delight visitors year-round.
The lake is in the Androscoggin River Valley, part of the Lakes and Mountains region of western Maine. It sits in the shadow of some of Maine's most beautiful mountains, at the place where the Appalachians and the Appalachian Trail straddle New Hampshire and Maine. Encompassing much of the same land, the White Mountain National Forest is to the north of Lake Christopher. Established May 16, 1918, the forest covers parts of Maine and New Hampshire and has over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Grafton Notch State Park is a short drive from Lake Christopher and has 3,000 acres of land to explore. Visitors can hike the loop trail to Moose Cave or marvel at the glacially formed Screw Auger Falls and Mother Walker Falls. There are trails for hiking and snowmobiling and plenty of opportunities to picnic and bird watch. The natural beauty of the surrounding region provides the perfect backdrop for picturesque Lake Christopher.
Winter at the lake brings horse-drawn sleigh rides through the snow-hushed countryside and ice skating on the lake. Both activities are best followed by hot chocolate in one of the many cottages and vacation rentals that ring the lake. Committed anglers can ice fish in Lake Christopher's deep water. The nearby mountains provide ample opportunity to downhill ski, and there are groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and dog sledding. Lake Christopher is close enough to all the area's activities to make it the perfect home base.
In the spring and summer, Lake Christopher explodes with fish and fishermen. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks brook trout, landlocked salmon and splake. A hybrid cross of the male brook trout, also known as speckled trout and the female lake trout, splake grow larger and live longer than their parents and prosper in cold water lakes. There are also healthy populations of chain pickerel, golden shiner and rainbow smelt to challenge anglers. The Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center maintains a summer camp and lakeside classroom to study the fish and lake environment. Boating, canoeing and kayaking are great ways to explore Lake Christopher's 276 acres and center island.
Off-water activities include a day of golf at one of the area's golf courses with manicured greens rolling against the spectacular mountain views. Bethel, self proclaimed as "Maine's most beautiful mountain village," has a historic district dating back to before the Revolutionary War. Visitors can stroll past the beautiful historic homes or stay at one of the bed and breakfasts. Quaint New England shops and restaurants round out a stay at Lake Christopher. For guests that can't bear to leave, there is real estate for sale to make their stay more permanent.
As the temperature drops and fall approaches, the nearby forest puts on a show of color and apple picking replaces swimming and summer activities. Mornings are for sipping cups of coffee on the deck of one of Lake Christopher's lakeside cottages while watching the loons glide across the still water. After a day of New England antiquing, cool fall evenings beg for fleece blankets and steaming mugs of "chowdah."
As the seasons turn, Lake Christopher offers new treasures to discover. Lake Christopher in Bryant Pond has more than four seasons of activities to delight any visitor. It is the perfect setting for a quintessential New England getaway.
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